JP4934263B2 - Digital imaging method, system and apparatus - Google Patents

Digital imaging method, system and apparatus Download PDF

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JP4934263B2
JP4934263B2 JP2002350416A JP2002350416A JP4934263B2 JP 4934263 B2 JP4934263 B2 JP 4934263B2 JP 2002350416 A JP2002350416 A JP 2002350416A JP 2002350416 A JP2002350416 A JP 2002350416A JP 4934263 B2 JP4934263 B2 JP 4934263B2
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data set
compression paddle
dimensional data
ultrasound
object
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JP2003230558A (en
Inventor
アジャイ・カプール
オリバー・アストリー
カイ・エリク・トーメニアス
ジェフリー・ウェイン・エーベルハルト
スティーブ・カール
セルジュ・ルイ・ウィルフリッド・マラー
ドナルド・ジョセフ・バックリー,ジュニア
ビール・ヒッブス・オプサール−オング
ボリス・ヤムロム
レインホルド・エフ・ウィルト
ロジャー・ニール・ジョンソン
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ゼネラル・エレクトリック・カンパニイ
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Priority to US10/062334 priority
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B6/00Apparatus for radiation diagnosis, e.g. combined with radiation therapy equipment
    • A61B6/50Clinical applications
    • A61B6/502Clinical applications involving diagnosis of breast, i.e. mammography
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B6/00Apparatus for radiation diagnosis, e.g. combined with radiation therapy equipment
    • A61B6/02Devices for diagnosis sequentially in different planes; Stereoscopic radiation diagnosis
    • A61B6/03Computerised tomographs
    • A61B6/032Transmission computed tomography [CT]
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B6/00Apparatus for radiation diagnosis, e.g. combined with radiation therapy equipment
    • A61B6/44Constructional features of the device for radiation diagnosis
    • A61B6/4417Constructional features of the device for radiation diagnosis related to combined acquisition of different diagnostic modalities
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B6/00Apparatus for radiation diagnosis, e.g. combined with radiation therapy equipment
    • A61B6/46Apparatus for radiation diagnosis, e.g. combined with radiation therapy equipment with special arrangements for interfacing with the operator or the patient
    • A61B6/461Displaying means of special interest
    • A61B6/466Displaying means of special interest adapted to display 3D data
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B6/00Apparatus for radiation diagnosis, e.g. combined with radiation therapy equipment
    • A61B6/52Devices using data or image processing specially adapted for radiation diagnosis
    • A61B6/5211Devices using data or image processing specially adapted for radiation diagnosis involving processing of medical diagnostic data
    • A61B6/5229Devices using data or image processing specially adapted for radiation diagnosis involving processing of medical diagnostic data combining image data of a patient, e.g. combining a functional image with an anatomical image
    • A61B6/5247Devices using data or image processing specially adapted for radiation diagnosis involving processing of medical diagnostic data combining image data of a patient, e.g. combining a functional image with an anatomical image combining images from different diagnostic modalities, e.g. X-ray and ultrasound
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B8/00Diagnosis using ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves
    • A61B8/08Detecting organic movements or changes, e.g. tumours, cysts, swellings
    • A61B8/0825Detecting organic movements or changes, e.g. tumours, cysts, swellings for diagnosis of the breast, e.g. mammography
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B8/00Diagnosis using ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves
    • A61B8/13Tomography
    • A61B8/14Echo-tomography
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B8/00Diagnosis using ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves
    • A61B8/44Constructional features of the ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic diagnostic device
    • A61B8/4416Constructional features of the ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic diagnostic device related to combined acquisition of different diagnostic modalities, e.g. combination of ultrasound and X-ray acquisitions
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B8/00Diagnosis using ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves
    • A61B8/48Diagnostic techniques
    • A61B8/483Diagnostic techniques involving the acquisition of a 3D volume of data
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B8/00Diagnosis using ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves
    • A61B8/52Devices using data or image processing specially adapted for diagnosis using ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves
    • A61B8/5215Devices using data or image processing specially adapted for diagnosis using ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves involving processing of medical diagnostic data
    • A61B8/5238Devices using data or image processing specially adapted for diagnosis using ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves involving processing of medical diagnostic data for combining image data of patient, e.g. merging several images from different acquisition modes into one image
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B6/00Apparatus for radiation diagnosis, e.g. combined with radiation therapy equipment
    • A61B6/02Devices for diagnosis sequentially in different planes; Stereoscopic radiation diagnosis
    • A61B6/025Tomosynthesis

Description

[0001]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates generally to digital imaging, and more specifically to a method, system, and apparatus for acquiring a digital image using an X-ray source and detector and an ultrasound device.
[0002]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
At least some known imaging systems project a cone beam from a radiation source that passes through the object being imaged, such as a patient, to detect radiation in a rectangular array. Incident light. In at least one known tomosynthesis system, the radiation source is rotated with the gantry around the pivot point so that multiple views of the object can be acquired at different projection angles. The term “view” refers to a single projected image, and more specifically to a radiograph from a single projection, which forms a projected image. One reconstructed (cross-sectional) image representing the structure in the object to be imaged at a certain height from the detector is called a “slice”. A collection of views, ie, multiple views, is called a “projection data set”. A set of slices for all heights, that is, a plurality of slices, is called a “three-dimensional data set representing an image object”.
[0003]
Other known medical imaging systems use an ultrasound diagnostic device to image the subject's organs. Conventional ultrasound diagnostic apparatuses typically include an ultrasound probe that transmits an ultrasound signal to a subject and receives a reflected ultrasound signal from the subject. The reflected ultrasound signal received by the ultrasound probe is processed to form an image of the object under inspection.
[0004]
Conventional breast imaging is based on standard 2DX X-ray mammography for discriminating examinations and X-ray and ultrasound imaging for diagnostic tracking. Ultrasound is particularly effective in identifying benign cysts and masses, and x-rays are typically used for detailed characterization of microcalcifications. Combining images created using X-rays and detectors with images created using ultrasound systems can take advantage of both modalities. However, X-ray examination is typically performed with the breast pressed, whereas ultrasound is typically performed by scanning the breast without compression, so that the images of both are aligned. It is difficult. In addition, since ultrasound scanning is typically performed manually, the results obtained are highly variable and difficult to match.
[0005]
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In one aspect of the invention, a method for creating an image of an object of interest is provided. The method includes obtaining a first three-dimensional data set of an object at a first position using an X-ray source and a detector, and a second 3 of the object at the first position using an ultrasonic probe. Acquiring a three-dimensional data set; and combining the first three-dimensional data set and the second three-dimensional data set to create a three-dimensional image of the object.
[0006]
In another aspect, a method for creating an image of an object of interest is provided. The method includes compressing an object of interest using a compression paddle, obtaining a first three-dimensional data set of the object at a first location using an x-ray source and a detector, and a compression paddle. A first three-dimensional position obtained by positioning the ultrasonic probe moving device assembly adjacent to the second probe and obtaining a second three-dimensional data set obtained by the ultrasonic probe moving device assembly through the compression paddle by mechanical design. And co-registering with the data set. The method also includes coupling the ultrasound probe with a probe mover assembly so that the ultrasound probe sends an ultrasound output signal to the compression paddle and the object of interest, and using the ultrasound probe. Obtaining a second three-dimensional data set of the object at the first position; and combining the first three-dimensional data set and the second three-dimensional data set to create a three-dimensional image of the object. Including.
[0007]
In yet another aspect, a method for creating an image of an object of interest is provided. The method includes compressing an object of interest using a compression paddle, obtaining a two-dimensional data set of the object at a first location using an X-ray source and detector, and adjacent to the compression paddle. Positioning the ultrasonic probe moving device assembly to obtain a second three-dimensional data set obtained by the ultrasonic probe moving device assembly through a compression paddle by mechanical design; And mutually aligning. The method also includes operatively coupling the ultrasound probe with the probe mover assembly such that the ultrasound probe delivers an ultrasound output signal to the compression paddle and the object of interest; and Using to obtain a three-dimensional data set of the object at the first position and combining the two-dimensional data set and the second three-dimensional data set to create a three-dimensional image of the object.
[0008]
In another aspect, an apparatus is provided. The apparatus includes a compression paddle, an ultrasonic probe mover assembly mechanically aligned with the compression paddle, and an ultrasonic probe mover set to deliver an ultrasonic output signal to the compression paddle and the object of interest. And a three-dimensionally bonded ultrasonic probe.
[0009]
In yet another aspect, a medical imaging system for creating an image of an object of interest is provided. The imaging system includes a detector array, at least one radiation source, a compression paddle, an ultrasonic probe mover assembly mechanically aligned with the compression paddle, ultrasonic waves on the compression paddle and the object of interest. An ultrasound probe coupled to the ultrasound probe mover assembly to deliver an output signal, and a computer coupled to the detector array, the radiation source and the ultrasound probe. The computer obtains a first three-dimensional data set of the object at the first position using the X-ray source and the detector, and uses the ultrasonic probe to obtain a second three-dimensional data set of the object at the first position. And a first three-dimensional data set and a second three-dimensional data set are combined to create a three-dimensional image of the object.
[0010]
In yet another aspect, a compression paddle is provided. The compression paddle includes a plurality of composite layers. These layers are sound transmissive and radiation transmissive.
[0011]
Detailed Description of the Invention
FIG. 1 is a pictorial diagram of a medical imaging system 12. In the exemplary embodiment, imaging system 12 includes ultrasound imaging system 14, probe mover assembly 16, ultrasound probe 18, x-ray imaging system and tomosynthesis imaging system 20. Including at least one. In the exemplary embodiment, ultrasound imaging system 14, probe mover assembly 16, ultrasound probe 18, and tomosynthesis imaging system 20 are operably integrated within imaging system 12. In another embodiment, the ultrasound imaging system 14, probe mover assembly 16, ultrasound probe 18, and tomosynthesis imaging system 20 are physically integrated to form a single body imaging system 12. To do.
[0012]
FIG. 2 is a pictorial diagram of the tomosynthesis imaging system 20. In the exemplary embodiment, tomosynthesis imaging system 20 is used to create a three-dimensional data set that represents an imaged object 22, such as a patient's breast. System 20 includes a radiation source 24, such as an x-ray source, and at least one detector array 26 for collecting views from a plurality of projection angles 28. Specifically, the system 20 includes a radiation source 24 that projects a conical x-ray beam that enters the detector array 26 through the object 22. The view obtained at each angle 28 can be used to reconstruct a plurality of slices, ie, images representing structures located in a plurality of planes 30 parallel to the detector array 26. The detector array 26 is manufactured in a panel format with a plurality of pixels (not shown) arranged in rows and columns so that an image of the entire object 22 of interest such as a breast is created.
[0013]
Each pixel includes a photosensor such as a photodiode (not shown) coupled to two separate address lines (not shown) via a switching transistor (not shown). In one embodiment, the two lines are a scan line and a data line. When radiation is incident on the scintillator material, the pixel photosensor measures the amount of light generated by the X-ray interaction with the scintillator by the change in charge across the diode. More specifically, each pixel generates an electrical signal that represents the intensity of the x-ray beam incident on the detector array 26 after being attenuated by the object 22. In one embodiment, detector array 26 is approximately 19 cm × 23 cm and is configured to generate a view for the entire object 22 of interest, such as a breast. Instead, the detector array 26 is sized according to the intended use. Further, the dimensions of the individual pixels of the detector array 26 are selected based on the intended use of the detector array 26.
[0014]
In an exemplary embodiment, the reconstructed three-dimensional data set is not necessarily arranged in slices corresponding to a plane parallel to detector 26, but arranged in a more general manner. In another embodiment, the reconstructed 3D data set constitutes only a single 2D image, or 1D function. In yet another embodiment, detector 26 has a shape other than planar.
[0015]
In the exemplary embodiment, radiation source 24 is movable relative to object 22. More specifically, the radiation source 24 can be translated (translated) to change the projection angle 28 of the imaged region. The radiation source 24 can be translated (translated) so that the projection angle 28 can be any acute angle or oblique angle.
[0016]
The operation of the radiation source 24 is governed by the control mechanism 38 of the imaging system 20. The control mechanism 38 includes a radiation controller 40 that supplies power and timing signals to the radiation source 24, and a motor controller 42 that controls the translational speed and position of the radiation source 24 and detector 26, respectively. The control mechanism 38 also includes a data acquisition system (DAS) 44 that samples the digital data from the detector 26 for further processing. Image reconstructor 46 receives the sampled and digitized projection data set from DAS 44 and performs high-speed image reconstruction as described herein. A reconstructed three-dimensional data set representing the imaged object 22 is applied to the computer 48 as an input. The computer 48 stores the three-dimensional data set in the mass storage device 50. Image reconstructor 46 is programmed to perform the functions described herein, and the term “image reconstructor” as used herein refers to a computer, processor, microcontroller, microcomputer, programmable logic controller, Represents application specific integrated circuits and other programmable circuits.
[0017]
Computer 48 also receives commands and scanning parameters from an operator via console 52 with input devices. A display device 54, such as a cathode ray tube or a liquid crystal display (LCD), allows an operator to observe the reconstructed three-dimensional data set and other data from the computer 48. Computer 48 provides control signals and information to DAS 44, motor controller 42, and radiation controller 40 using commands and scanning parameters supplied by the operator.
[0018]
The imaging system 20 also includes a compression paddle 56. The compression paddle 56 is positioned adjacent to the probe movement device assembly 16 such that the probe movement device assembly 16 and the compression paddle 56 are mechanically aligned. In addition, the ultrasound data set or second 3D data set obtained using the probe mover assembly 16 may be combined with an X-ray data set or first 3D data set using the compression paddle 56 by mechanical design. Match each other. In one embodiment, the ultrasound probe 18 is operatively coupled to the probe mover assembly 16 such that the ultrasound probe 18 delivers an ultrasound output signal to the compression paddle 56 and the breast 22, which is in the breast 22. It is at least partially reflected when it encounters an interface like a cyst. In another embodiment, the ultrasound probe 18 is a 2D array of capacitive micromachined ultrasound transducers operatively coupled to the compression paddle 56 and the probe mover assembly 16 is not used.
[0019]
FIG. 3 is a side view of the compression paddle 56. In one embodiment, the compression paddle 56 is acoustically transparent (sound transmissive) and transparent to X-rays (radiation transmissive), and is made of a plastic material as described in Table 1 shown by way of example and not limitation in Table 1. Manufactured with a composite so that the compression paddle 56 has an attenuation factor of less than about 5.0 decibels / cm when the system 2 is operating at about 10 MHz, thereby reducing the ultrasonic reverberation and attenuation by the compression paddle 56. Minimize. In another embodiment, the compression paddle 56 is fabricated using a single composite material. In yet another embodiment, the compression paddle 56 is made using a single, non-composite material. In one exemplary embodiment, the compression paddle 56 is approximately 2.7 mm thick and includes a plurality of layers 58. Layer 58 is fabricated using a plurality of rigid composite materials such as, but not limited to, polycarbonate, polymethylpentene, polystyrene. The compression paddle 56 is designed using a plurality of design parameters shown in Table 1. Examples of design parameters for the compression paddle 56 include, but are not limited to, X-ray attenuation, atomic number, light transmittance, tensile modulus, sound speed, density, elongation, Poisson's ratio, acoustic impedance, and ultrasonic attenuation. included.
[0020]
[Table 1]
[0021]
By producing the compression paddle 56 using a plurality of composite layers 58, an effective X-ray attenuation coefficient and a point spread function similar to polycarbonate can be easily obtained in the mammography spectrum. Moreover, the composite layer 58 can be used to achieve light transmission of 80% or higher and low ultrasonic attenuation (less than 3 dB) at ultrasonic probe frequencies up to about 12 megahertz (MHz). Further, the composite layer 58 makes the maximum intensity of interface reflection within 2% of the maximum beam intensity, and 19 × 23 cm. 2 When the total pressing force of 18 daN is applied to this area, the deflection from the horizontal is less than 1 mm, and the mechanical rigidity and the radiation resistance over time can be easily obtained to the same level as polycarbonate.
[0022]
FIG. 4 is a top view of the probe moving device assembly 16. In one embodiment, the probe mover assembly 16 is removably coupled to the paddle 56 and is decoupled from the compression paddle 56 so that the probe mover assembly 16 can be independently positioned above the compression paddle 56. Can do. The probe mover assembly 16 includes a plurality of stepper motors 62, a position encoder (not shown), and a plurality of limit switch driven carriages (not shown). At least one carriage is mounted with an ultrasonic probe 18 (shown in FIG. 1) via a receiver 64 to enable the ability for variable vertical positioning of the compression paddle 56. In one embodiment, the ultrasound probe 18 descends perpendicular to the z direction until it contacts the compression paddle 56. Step motor 62 drives ultrasonic probe 18 along carriage 66 in fine increments in the x and y directions at variable speeds determined by the user. A limit switch 68 is provided with a backlash control nut (not shown) to prevent the ultrasonic probe 18 from moving beyond the predetermined mechanical design limits of the probe mover assembly 16. . The ultrasonic probe 18 is mounted on a U-shaped plate 70 attached to the receiver 72. In one embodiment, the U-shaped plate 70 is attached to a plurality of guide rails (not shown) on the x-ray imaging system or tomosynthesis imaging system 20 via a separate assembly (not shown). . The dimensions of the probe moving device assembly 16 in the x and y directions are variously selected based on the desired range of movement of the ultrasound probe 18 that is comparable to the dimensions of the compression paddle 56. In the z direction, the dimensions are limited by the vertical spatial distance between the envelope of the radiation source 24 above the probe mover assembly 16 and the compression paddle 56 below it.
[0023]
FIG. 5 is a flowchart of an exemplary method 80 for creating an image of the object 22 of interest. The method 80 includes obtaining 82 a first three-dimensional data set of the object 22 at the first position using the X-ray source 24 and the detector 26, and the object 22 at the first position using an ultrasonic probe. Obtaining a second three-dimensional data set 84 and combining the first three-dimensional data set and the second three-dimensional data set to create a three-dimensional image 86 of the object 22.
[0024]
FIG. 6 is a pictorial diagram of the imaging system 12. With respect to usage, referring to FIG. 6, the compression paddle 56 is installed in the tomosynthesis imaging system 20 by the compression paddle receiver 100. In one embodiment, the probe mover assembly 16 is mounted on a receiver (not shown) on a guide rail (not shown) of the x-ray positioning device 102 by means of a fixture above a compression paddle receiver (not shown). ). In another embodiment, the probe mover assembly 16 is attached using a side handrail (not shown) on the tomosynthesis imaging system 20. An ultrasound probe 18 is connected at one end to the ultrasound imaging system and is coupled to the probe mover assembly 16 via a probe receiver 106. The patient is placed adjacent to the tomosynthesis imaging system 20 so that the breast 22 is positioned between the compression paddle 56 and the detector 26.
[0025]
The geometry of the ultrasound probe 18 and probe mover assembly 16 is calibrated with respect to the compression paddle 56. In one embodiment, the calibration of the ultrasound probe 18 is accomplished by placing the ultrasound probe 18 in the probe mover receiver 106 and the probe mover assembly 16 via the compression paddle receiver 100 tomosynthesis imaging. Including ensuring that it is attached to the system 20; Calibration of the imaging system 12 helps ensure that conversion operations between coordinate systems are valid. A correct beamforming code environment is installed in the ultrasound imaging system 14 which helps to correct the refraction effects due to the compression paddle 56. The optimal parameters are then determined based on prior knowledge of the patient or previous X-ray or ultrasonography.
[0026]
The patient is positioned in at least one of a cranial-sacral, intermediate-lateral and oblique postures to position the breast 22 or object 22 of interest between the compression paddle 56 and the detector 26. Like that. In one embodiment, breast 22 is slightly covered with a lubricant, such as, but not limited to, mineral oil. The breast 22 is then compressed to the appropriate thickness by the compression paddle 56 using at least one of manual control over the receiver 100 and automatic control over the receiver 100.
[0027]
X-ray examination is then performed by a tomosynthesis imaging system 20 operating in at least one of standard 2D and tomosynthesis modes. In the tomosynthesis mode, the x-ray source envelope 108 is modified so that it can be rotated about the vertically upper axis of the detector 26 independent of the positioning device 110. In one embodiment, the patient and detector 26 are fixed and the tube jacket 108 rotates.
[0028]
A view of the breast 22 is then obtained from at least two projection angles 28 (shown in FIG. 2) to create a projection data set of the region of interest. The multiple views represent a tomosynthesis projection data set. The acquired projection data set is then used to create a first three-dimensional data set, ie, a plurality of slices for the scanned breast 22. This first three-dimensional data set represents a three-dimensional radiographic representation of the breast 22 to be imaged. After operating the radiation source 24 to deliver a radiation beam at a first projection angle 112 (shown in FIG. 2), a view is collected using the detector array 26. Then, by changing the projection angle 28 of the system 20 by translating the position of the source 24, the central axis 150 (shown in FIG. 2) of the radiation beam is changed to a second projection angle 114 (shown in FIG. 2), And the detector array 26 is repositioned so that the breast 22 is maintained within the field of view of the system 20. The radiation source 24 is activated again to collect a view at the second projection angle 114. The same procedure is then repeated for any subsequent number of projection angles 28.
[0029]
In one embodiment, multiple views of breast 22 are acquired at multiple angles 28 using radiation source 24 and detector array 26 to create a projection data set for the region of interest. In another embodiment, a single view of breast 22 is acquired at one angle 28 using radiation source 24 and detector array 26 to create a projection data set for the region of interest. The collected projection data set is then used to create at least one of a 2D data set and a first 3D data set for the scanned breast 22. The resulting data is stored in a designated directory on computer 38 (shown in FIG. 2). If a tomosynthesis scan is to be performed, the gantry should be returned to its vertical position.
[0030]
FIG. 7 is a pictorial diagram of the compression paddle 56 and the interface between the ultrasound imaging system 14 and the tomosynthesis imaging system 20. FIG. 8 is a side view of a portion of the imaging system 12. In the exemplary embodiment, compression paddle 56 is filled with acoustic coupling gel 120 to a height of 2 mm. In another embodiment, an acoustic sheath (not shown) is placed on the compression paddle 56. The probe mover assembly 16 is attached to the gantry (not shown) of the tomosynthesis imaging system 20 by a fixture 104 (shown in FIG. 6) so that the plane of the probe mover assembly is parallel to the plane of the compression paddle 56. To be. In one embodiment, the ultrasound probe 18 is lowered to contact the acoustic sheath. In another embodiment, the ultrasound probe 18 is lowered and partially placed into the binding gel 120. The height of the ultrasonic probe 18 is adjusted by a receiver 106 (shown in FIG. 6).
[0031]
The ultrasound probe 18 is mounted vertically above the compression paddle 56 and electromechanically scanned across the breast 22 including the chest wall 126 and the nipple area to create a second 3D data set for the breast 22. In one embodiment, the computer 130 drives the step motor controller 132 to scan the breast 22 in a raster fashion. In another embodiment, computer 38 (shown in FIG. 2) drives controller 132 to scan breast 22 in a raster fashion. At least one of the computer 38 and the computer 130 includes software, which includes electronic beam steering (direction manipulation) and elevation focusing capabilities. In one embodiment, real-time ultrasound data can be observed on a monitor of the ultrasound imaging system 14. In another embodiment, the ultrasound data can be viewed on any display device, such as but not limited to display device 54 (shown in FIG. 2). The probe mover assembly 16 is removed from the tomosynthesis imaging system 20 and the compression paddle 56 is repositioned to release the patient.
[0032]
Electronic beam steering allows imaging of the chest wall and nipple area as shown in FIG. 8, for example, by looking at the nipple area 128. If the ultrasound probe 18 is positioned just above the nipple area 128, no acoustic energy will be transferred to the nipple area 128 due to the gap between the compressed breast 22 and the compression paddle 56. However, the illustrated steered beam penetrates from the left in FIG. 8 so that acoustic energy is efficiently transmitted, thereby reducing the need for an adaptive gel pad to allow imaging of the nipple area 128. Is done. In addition, beam steering can be controlled so that the acoustic shadows caused by structures such as Cooper ligaments can be minimized by steering the beam to multiple angles and combining these data sets. it can.
[0033]
In one embodiment, the coordinate system of the first data set is converted to the coordinate system of the second data set, these data sets are aligned by hardware design, and intermittent using an image-based alignment method. Can be matched to compensate for typical patient movements. Instead, the coordinate system of the second data set is converted to the coordinate system of the second data set. Since the first 3D data set and the second 3D data set are acquired with the same physical configuration of the breast 22, the images can be registered directly from the mechanical alignment information. Specifically, the images can be directly aligned point by point for the entire breast anatomy, thereby eliminating the ambiguity associated with alignment of 3D ultrasound and 2DX images. Alternatively, the physical process of individual imaging modalities can be used to improve the alignment of the two images. Taking into account differences in spatial resolution and propagation characteristics between the two modalities, small positioning differences in the two images can be identified. An alignment is then made based on the corrected position in the 3D data set. The corresponding area of interest on any image can then be observed simultaneously in multiple ways to improve qualitative visualization and quantitative characterization of closed objects or local areas.
[0034]
FIG. 9 is an image illustrating a typical effect of refraction correction at 12 MHz. FIG. 10 is an image similar to FIG. 9 when there is no refraction correction. In one embodiment, the refractive correction from the compression paddle 56 is incorporated into the beamforming processor as shown in FIGS. Refractive correction with 3 mm plastic material corrects the appearance of diffusing wires. In one embodiment, ultrasound probe 18 includes at least one of a phased array transducer and an active matrix linear transducer with elevation focusing and beam steering capabilities. Because the ultrasound probe 18 includes an active matrix linear transducer or phased array transducer, the inherent spatial resolution is maintained over a much greater depth than a standard transducer. Elevation angle focusing and carefully selected compression paddle plastic materials enable the use of high frequency probes, and this system provides high spatial resolution on the order of 250 microns for ultrasound images, which is useful for phantom and clinical imaging .
[0035]
In one embodiment, a computer software program installed in the ultrasound imaging system 14 is used to drive the ultrasound probe 18 along a predetermined path on the compression paddle 56. The program also acts on the stepper motor controller 132 and the ultrasound system 14 to initiate image and data acquisition and storage. In another embodiment, a computer software program installed on the tomosynthesis imaging system 20 is used to drive the ultrasound probe 18 along a predetermined path on the compression paddle 56. This program helps to improve the positioning accuracy of the ultrasonic probe 18 within about ± 100 microns.
[0036]
In addition, the imaging system 12 minimizes the impact of the hardware used in one examination, ie, the X-ray source 24 and detector 26, on the image quality of other images created using the ultrasound probe 18. To help isolate the image acquisition process. In addition, the system 12 helps reduce structured noise, distinguish between cysts and solid masses, and full 3D visualization of multimodality matched data sets in a single automated combinatorial test, thereby suspicious in breast images Helps improve methods for area localization and characterization, thus reducing unnecessary biopsy and increasing breast scanning efficiency.
[0037]
Because clinical ultrasound and 3D digital x-rays can be used with 2D digital x-rays in a mutually aligned format using system 12, system 12 can be used with additional modality CAD algorithms, improved classification schemes for CAD, and the like. Provide a platform for the latest applications. The system 12 helps guide the breast biopsy with greater accuracy than is available in the 2DX ray data set with depth dimension information. By automating ultrasound scans, and thus reducing the effects of variability during the scan, system 12 can monitor patients undergoing various forms of treatment for breast cancer and evaluate patient response to therapy. it can. For example, the system 12 can be used to acquire x-ray and ultrasound image data sets during the initial examination and during multiple subsequent examinations performed at various time intervals during the procedure. During subsequent examinations, the system 12 is used to position the patient in the same way as it was located during the first examination and the breasts with the same operating parameters used when acquiring the first data set. 22 can be imaged with ultrasound. Necessary to align the two datasets well with each other using clearly identifiable features on both ultrasound datasets and other means, with matching techniques based on mutual information or features Determine the required x, y and z displacements to perform a reciprocal interactive patient repositioning. Such features can also be implanted when using surgical treatment procedures. Since cancer recurrence is not uncommon, this feature can provide clinicians with a substantially consistent data set with each other, and therefore use system 12 to track recovery and respond accordingly. The treatment plan can be modified. In addition, the system 12 helps reduce breast compression because structured noise, which is a major factor in increasing breast 22 compression, is reduced. Modifications to the system 12 can be made to allow a combination of 3D ultrasound and stereoscopic mammography.
[0038]
While various specific embodiments of the invention have been described, those skilled in the art will recognize that modifications can be made to the invention within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
[Brief description of the drawings]
FIG. 1 is a pictorial diagram of an imaging system.
FIG. 2 is a flowchart of an exemplary method for creating an image of an object of interest.
FIG. 3 is a side view of a portion of a novel compression paddle.
FIG. 4 is a top view of the probe moving device assembly.
FIG. 5 is a flowchart of an exemplary method for creating an image of an object of interest.
FIG. 6 is a pictorial diagram of a medical imaging system.
FIG. 7 is a pictorial diagram of a compression paddle system, interface, and ultrasound imaging system.
8 is a side view of a portion of the medical imaging system shown in FIG.
FIG. 9 is an image illustrating a typical effect of refraction correction.
10 is an image similar to FIG. 9 when there is no refraction correction.
[Explanation of symbols]
12 Medical Imaging System
14 Ultrasonic imaging system
16 Probe moving device assembly
18 Ultrasonic probe
20 Tomosynthesis Imaging System
22 Object to be imaged
24 Radiation source
26 Detector array
28 Projection angle
30 planes
38 Control mechanism
56 Pressure paddle
58 layers
62 step motor
64 Receiver
66 Carriage
68 Limit switch
70 U-shaped board
72 Receiver
100 pressure paddle receptacle
102 X-ray positioning device
104 Fixture
106 Probe receptacle
108 X-ray source envelope
110 Positioning device
112 First projection angle
114 Second projection angle
120 Acoustic coupling gel
126 Chest wall
128 nipple area
130 computers
132 Step motor controller
150 Central axis of radiation beam

Claims (10)

  1. Compression paddle (56),
    An ultrasonic probe moving device assembly (16) mechanically aligned with the compression paddle;
    An ultrasonic probe (18) having beam steering capability coupled to the ultrasonic probe mover assembly to deliver an ultrasonic output signal to the compression paddle and the object of interest (22). )When,
    A computer (48) for forming an ultrasound image in which the refraction effect by the compression paddle is corrected;
    Have
    A radiation source (24) emits a radiation beam through the compression paddle (56) and the object of interest (22) to a detector assembly (24) to create a first three-dimensional data set; The ultrasound probe (18) sends an ultrasound output signal to the compression paddle and the object of interest to create a second three-dimensional data set;
    The computer (48) combines the first three-dimensional data set and the second three-dimensional data set corrected for refraction effects due to the compression paddles to mutually match the object (22) of interest. Create a 3D dataset,
    The object of interest (22) is a breast;
    The ultrasound probe (18) is configured such that a steered beam enters the nipple area (128) not compressed by the compression paddle from the area of the breast compressed by the compression paddle, Is imaged ,
    The ultrasound image is taken without placing a gel pad in the gap between the compression paddle and the nipple area.
    apparatus.
  2.  The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the paddle (56) is coupled to a tomosynthesis imaging system (20).
  3.  The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the ultrasonic probe (18) comprises at least one of an active matrix linear transducer and a phased array transducer.
  4.  The apparatus of claim 3, wherein at least one of the active matrix linear transducer and the phased array transducer has elevation focusing capability.
  5. Computer (48) is combined with the first three dimensional data set or selectively said two-dimensional X-ray image a second three dimensional data set, according to claim 1, wherein.
  6. Said computer (48) further, the first three dimensional data set and is configured to be physically mutually aligned while getting a second three-dimensional data sets, any one of claims 1 to 5 The device described in 1.
  7. In order to combine the first three-dimensional data set and the second three-dimensional data set to create a three-dimensional image of the object, the computer (48) further includes the first three-dimensional data set and 6. Apparatus according to any of claims 1 to 5 , configured to align a second three-dimensional data set.
  8.  The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the compression paddle is comprised of a plurality of composite layers (58) that are sound and radiation transmissive.
  9. The composite layer (58) includes at least one of polycarbonate, polymethylpentene, polystyrene, and combinations thereof;
    The composite layer (58) has an ultrasonic attenuation of less than about 3 dB at a plurality of ultrasonic probe frequencies of less than about 12 megahertz;
    The apparatus of claim 8 , wherein the composite layer (58) is configured to optically transmit about 80% or more of incident radiation.
  10. 10. An apparatus according to claim 1 or 9 , wherein the beam is steered to a number of angles and their data sets are combined.
JP2002350416A 2002-02-01 2002-12-02 Digital imaging method, system and apparatus Active JP4934263B2 (en)

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JP2003230558A (en) 2003-08-19
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FR2835421B1 (en) 2006-12-29
US20030149364A1 (en) 2003-08-07
FR2835421A1 (en) 2003-08-08

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